BlogPac Hero: The Amanda Marcotte Story You Haven't Heard

Mike Stark here:  This is another of John Javna's Hero series.  We awarded $1,000 to Amanda for her courage in the face of an irresponsible media; standing up to Bill Donohue's lackies on the fringe Fox network, and then, soon afterwards, in the more mainstream media took guts.

We'll have another story to tell soon.  Please look out for it.

In the meantime, as I said in this diary, it is you and your donations that make it possible for us to make these awards.  Please continue supporting your own by donating to BlogPac's ActBlue page.

Now, over to John:

Imagine this: You're a liberal blogger with a fairly well-known web site. You're proud of your work online, but of course, you don't make any money at it. To pay the rent, you work at the University of Texas, in Austin, as a financial aid counselor.

One day in January you're sitting at your desk when a man who claims to work for the John Edwards campaign reaches you on the phone.

Caller:"Is this (your name here)"?

You: "Yep. What can I do for you?"

Caller:"I'm a consultant with 'John Edwards for President.' We've been running a blog, and we need a blogmaster to take over the whole operation. People tell us you're the person for the job. Would you be interested? Can you move to North Carolina right away?"

Your first reaction is: "This is a hoax...  a practical joke." But you stay cool and simply promise to "think about it." Then you hang up... and immediately call a few friends who volunteer for Edwards. To your astonishment, they verify the whole story. You're floored. Not only is Edwards the guy you like best in the flock of Democrats, but frankly, you've never imagined you could make a living at blogging. And now you're not only going to be employed at it full-time, you'll be starting at the top. It has "a kind of fairytale aspect to it," you confess later to a reporter.

If all this sounds too good to be true, is. The fairy tale will turn out to be more like a nightmare--the most traumatic thing that's ever happened to 29-year-old Amanda Marcotte.

Marcotte, proprietor of the Pandagon site, didn't say yes right away. "It was a big decision whether to move, because I loved where I lived," she says. "Plus, I'm not usually a big risk-taker. I asked the Edwards campaign, `How long will the job last?' and they said, `Think of it this way: It`s early in the campaign, and there's no way it won't last at least a year--at least until the primaries, and maybe longer.' That seemed fair...  and this was such a big opportunity -- everyone around me was saying, `Oh you've got to take it.'... Even my parents, who are right-wing Texas Republicans, were encouraging. Of course, they liked the fact that it was straight job with career possibilities. But it turns out they actually like John Edwards, too. I guess he has a lot of charm."

(continued below)

There's more...

BlogPac Hero #3: Lane Hudson

This is the third in a weekly series of articles, written by John Javna, that will appear on, recognizing unsung heroes of the progressive movement -- ordinary people who are working tirelessly to make America a better place. If you have suggestions about people who deserve more recognition for their work as progressive activists, please contact us at

A brief interlude: We need to support our own in the netroots. We have to ensure that the next hero knows we'll have their back if what happened to Lane happens to them. Lane was the first BlogPac Hero to receive a monetary reward. When Lane was blacklisted, BlogPac stepped in to make help him keep his apartment, pay for groceries and, in general, sustain him until he could find another job. To help defray BlogPac's expense and to ensure we can continue to do this for future heroes, please consider donating here.


Ever wish you could single-handedly deliver a knockout blow to the right-wing, like a political Rocky?

For most of us, it's just a fantasy... but every once in a while, it actually happens. It did to Lane Hudson. Armed with only a computer and a nugget of information, he was able to turn the 2006 elections upside down... and give the Democrats the weapon they needed to take Congress.

His reward? Well unfortunately, as you may have heard, "No good deed goes unpunished."

Here's the story:

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BlogPac Ordinary Hero: Raven Brooks


This is the first in a weekly series of articles that will appear on, recognizing unsung heroes of the progressive movement--ordinary people who are working tirelessly to make America a better place. If you have suggestions about people who deserve more recognition for their work as progressive activists, please contact us at fighttheright-at-opendoor-dot-com.

Tomorrow we will announce our first $1,000 BlogPac Activist Hero Award.  Please sustain our efforts by contributing to BlogPac.

In the late 1990s, Raven Brooks was a member of Texas A&M University's elite Cadet Corps--a four-year military program similar to West Point. "I wasn't very politically aware at that time in my life," he explains. "I would have said I was a Republican, because growing up in Texas, in a conservative family, that's all I knew....but I didn't really agree with my parents--or my classmates--on many topics."

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BlogPac Tuesdays

In November of 2005, I was posting occasional diaries at DailyKos that offered narrations of my calls to Hannity, Limbaugh and O'Reilly. After hearing my voice for the umpteenth time, David Grossman, the netroots coordinator at MediaMatters found me at DKos. He posted a comment in one of my diaries and we eventually met in person.  He turned out to be something of an angel...

As you know, most political blogs and websites either advocate for specific issues, support (or attack) political figures... or discuss electoral politics in general.  

But who's got our back? Who's advocating for us -- the netroots? Where are the websites specifically focused on supporting bloggers and activists? Who's developing ways for us to be even more effective next election cycle? Who's growing the movement?

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They Did It AGAIN!!!

Today, in my capacity as field reporter for Air America and The Young Turks, I attended a political rally for George Allen.  If given the opportunity, I intended to ask the Senator about his remarks concerning his opponents and his desire to "enjoy knocking their soft teeth down their whiny throats". I was wondering if that desire had anything to do with him deciding to do nothing when his campaign staff and supporters assaulted me last Tuesday.

Well, his supporters supported him again today.  They really are a bunch of jock straps.

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Come help film a commercial

You've all seen this video by now.  It was hugely successful at accomplishing its purpose - over 20,000 views on YouTube.  It's time for us to move to tv.  Tomorrow, we will be filming a commercial with higher production values - a commercial for television.  Again, you'll have to trust me on this, but this thing has taken off in ways I never envisioned when I started.  At first it was gonna be a small radio buy.  Now we're looking at some serious tv time.

So we're filming tomorrow.  (Not me personally, but an incredible talent that's volunteered his time.)  We need Virginians willing to appear in the ad to come to the Telegraph Rd. Holiday Inn (2460 Eisenhower Ave. Alexandria VA) tomorrow sometime between 1:30 and 3:30; we'll try to get people in and out as fast as possible, but it will probably take around 45 minutes.  The Holiday Inn is just off the Eisenhower Ave. metro stop.


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A talk radio proposal

I hope this isn't a violation of scoop etiquette, but I'm reposting something here that is drawn straight from my diary at dailykos...  feel free to flame if necessary.

I don't often blog about my calls to the "second teir" players on talk radio - usually I limit myself to telling you about the calls I make to O'Falafel, Shammity and the King of all Addicts...


Well, that might change.  

flip - I promise I'll get to today's call...

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Osama News

Two items:  

  1.  he's acquired dirty bomb material and met with the AQ Kahn network

  2.  He's very, very happy, healthy and secure.  Thanks for asking...


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A DLC Takedown

I've been trying to broaden my horizons a bit.  When Howard Dean lost Iowa, I was shocked.  Shocked isn't the word, really.  To really get an idea of what I felt, imagine how the wingnuts that have worked themselves into a slather over Terry Schiavo must feel upon realizing that George W. Bush - a man of principle, a man unswayed by polls - has looked at polling data, sided with "activist judges" and turned his back on life.  I guess what I'm describing is the moment when cognitive dissonance is corrected and reality bites.

It's no fun, and I take no solace in the fact that I was not alone - that there were thousands of other Dean supporters that had their versions of reality shaken that fateful day.

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Man, I just don't understand.

(cross-posted from Kos)

How are democrats losing the PR war on everything except social security?

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